July 4, 2016, marks the 240th anniversary of the day in 1776 that the U.S. Declaration of Independence was adopted by the Continental Congress. Every year, we put out our red, white, and blue and celebrate with parades, barbecues, and sweet apple pie. After a day of fun, nighttime settles in, and the colorful fireworks displays, large and small, begin.
If you’re setting off your own fireworks, you’ve probably heard all the safety precautions. But do you remember to wear your eye protection too?
In 2014, an estimated 10,500 people were treated for fireworks-related injuries. Of those injured, 1 in 5 are estimated to suffer from serious injuries to the eyes, some even resulting in blindness.
If you or a loved one is injured, follow these guidelines from Prevent Blindness:
- Do seek care immediately from a medical professional.
- Do not rub the eye as it may increase bleeding or make the injury worse.
- Do not attempt to rinse out the eye.
- Do not apply pressure to the eye itself. Protect the eye by holding or taping a foam cup over the injured eye.
- Do not stop for medicine. Over-the-counter pain relievers will not do much to relieve pain and may worsen bleeding.
- Do not apply ointment. It may not be sterile and it makes the area around the eye more difficult for a doctor to examine.
Stay safe and make sure you’re able to see and enjoy the fireworks for years to come.
This is a guest post from VSP employee Laurel G.